We examined the immunohistochemical distribution of six types of cell adhesion glycoproteins in the human retrobulbar optic nerve. The pial septa had laminin and entactin on the surface at the border with the optic nerve fibers, and fibronectin and vitronectin were distributed in the stroma of the septa. Some tenastin was also detectable both on the surface and in the stroma of the septa. Thrombospondin was associated with capillaries within the stroma. The surface of the arachnoid membrane, the pia mater, and the dura mater was covered by laminin and entactin. Diffuse staining with antifibronectin antibody was seen in all these meningeal tissues, but vitronectin showed a fine fibrillar appearance in these tissues. No significant staining could be found for tenastin. Thrombospondin showed only faint staining on the capillaries of the pia mater and the dura mater. These findings can provide clues for the discussion of how the extracellular matrix works and what roles it plays in disorders involving the retrobulbar optic nerve, such as optic neuritis and glaucoma.